Fanny Oyster Bar’s Dragon Heart Cocktail for the Lunar New Year

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

February 10 marks the Lunar New Year and the transition into the Year of the Dragon. To celebrate this event (and maybe the end of Dry January), bar manager Maria Lizalde of Vancouver’s Fanny Bay Oyster Bar has developed an aromatic old-fashioned. The addition of sesame is inspired by its use in Chinese cuisine.


For the sesame-infused whisky:

Bottle of whisky

3 tablespoons sesame seeds


For the five-spice simple syrup

½ cup sugar

½ cup water
1 tablespoon Chinese five spice


For the cocktail

¼ ounce five-spice simple syrup
3-4 dashes of star anise bitters
Splash of soda water
1 ounce sesame-infused whisky

Orange peel and cranberry to garnish



For the sesame-infused whisky:

Dry toast the sesame seeds in a pan until aromatic.

Add to the bottle of whisky and let infuse for at least 2 to 3 hours before straining.


For the five-spice simple syrup:

Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the five-spice.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

For the cocktail:
Add the five-spice syrup and bitters into a mixing glass. Add a splash of soda water and stir until incorporated.
Fill a mixing glass with ice, add the sesame-infused whisky, and stir until well chilled.
Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube.

Twist the orange peel and piece a toothpick through it. Add cranberry.